Algeria village up in arms after army blunder

AFP , Wednesday 14 Sep 2011

A protest is planned to take place Thursday to demand the army's departure from the Kabylie region in Algeria after a woman is shot and mistaken for being a "terrorist"

A village in Algeria's northern Kabylie region is planning to hold a protest Thursday following the shooting of a woman by a soldier who purportedly mistook her for a "terrorist", papers said.

Zahia Kaci, a 55-year-old mother of 14 was returning from a funeral wake with two other women when a sentinel at Freha's paratrooper barracks, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of Algiers, opened fire.

She was killed, prompting the cluster of neighbouring villages to set up a crisis committee and plan a march to be held on Thursday to demand the army's departure from the site.

One local journalist told AFP that growing instability in Kabylie has led some local residents however to take a more nuanced view and ask for the barracks to simply be relocated farther away from populated areas.

A protest planned on Tuesday did not go forward after the victim's family argued that insufficient planning risked leading to unrest.

Some youths nonetheless turned out and blocked the main road with burning tyres.

A watchman was killed in another army blunder in Kabylie three months ago.

Kabylie has seen a deterioration of its security situation in recent months with a surge in incidents generally involving attacks on the Algerian military by Islamist armed groups.

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